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Old 05-16-2018, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Oh, I don't think that's true at all. Mr. Kim has very, very little to lose if he cancels the talks. In fact, it will make him appear to be "in charge" and strengthen his position at home and with China. It will force SK and the US to ask (read that as "beg") politely that he come back to the table, which will give him 'face'.

The alternative is that the US gets belligerent, which again works in his favor politically.

Or he gets ignored by the US and carries on with SK and China with renewed and elevated status.

The Kims have been playing this game for 3 generations now; they're good at it.
I think Kim might not need the meeting in June, but I think the meeting at some point in the near future would benefit Kim far more than it would benefit Trump. I see the meeting itself as a trap for Trump. Sure, in the initial aftermath, Trump stands to be validated as a competent, albeit unconventional and downright erratic, leader on the world stage. But a meeting validates Kim as well, and this is important to remember. It makes him look reasonable and rational, and less totalitarian. That's something he can exploit in the near term. If he meets with Kim and then Kim backs out of his agreement - which is highly likely - then in the longer term, he makes Trump look like a dope, which makes Trump weaker domestically. And if he can charm East Asia in the process, then he could make Trump look like a warmongering, bully dope internationally the next time Trump threatens fire and fury.

The key is what Trump's administration (which includes John Bolton) can walk away with. If they can lower expectations and tolerate a nuclear-tipped North Korea with a verifiably limited arsenal sufficient for self defense but not much else, then maybe there's no more crisis. But if they can't accept that, then I think Trump is setting himself up to get played, and embarrassingly so.